The woman who sat beside us at the restaurant today got quite the show. She saw a lot of wiggles. I'm fairly certain she felt some, too, given the range or our wiggliest child who sat not six inches from her chair. She saw our kids get up to the bathroom two times. EACH! (Well, she was only there for the contagious poop round, but trust me, lady, there was an identical pee round not five minutes prior). She saw Max drop two forks on the ground. Hopefully she didn't see me "wipe the germs" off of fork number two because I was too embarrassed to bug the waitress who had already witnessed the three-ring circus that performed before a new seating arrangement was issued.
This poor lady (and half of the restaurant, I'm sure) heard loud comments on other customers' clothing, tattles about what each boy was doing to another, demands for explanations on why we ordered water instead of soda, and inquiries into the whereabouts of the beloved restaurant owner (a.k.a. "the Oreo man" because of previous generous table visits). She heard me ask Calvin to please stop kicking me, no less than 14 times. If she was listening closely, she also heard hushed, but increasingly aggravated explanations and corrections from Ryan and I.
Then, when bellies were full and cake and cobbler were on the table and Ryan and I could finally get an adult-to-adult word in edgewise, she heard us try to mentally re-create our calendar for the week, unsure of which night was T-ball and which was parent pitch, if there was a conflict with the PTO meeting or if we could attend, how many nights this week we'd have to crock pot it or eat out, and how badly we didn't want to add a whole-crew grocery run to our list for that day, but how it seemed unavoidable.
When Ryan left to pay the cashier, trailing two stained mouths behind, I tried to make our table look not quite so tornadic before I grabbed a sticky little hand and followed. The lady caught my eye, gave me a warm smile and said something that brought me to embarrassing tears right there on the spot. "They'll be all grown up soon."
Thank you, random lady, for not glaring at us when we interrupted your quiet Sunday afternoon dinner for the umpteenth time. For not elbowing our wiggle worm back (actually...) And for giving me a message that was exactly what I needed. Part hope and part warning.